Some conservatives are incensed that Jane Fonda, a woman who basically took up arms against the United States during the Vietnam War, will be portraying American patriot Nancy Reagan in The Butler, an upcoming film about longtime White House butler Cecil Gains. The First Lady's former press secretary called the casting decision "ludicrous." A Facebook group called "Boycott Hanoi Jane Playing Nancy Reagan" currently has more than 20,000 likes. It's a whole thing.
At last night's "These Girls" event at Joe's Pub, hosted by Glamour, the Cut cornered Gloria Steinem to pick her brain on Yahoo's big Tumblr acquisition. Or, more specifically, whether Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer should take it upon herself to crack down more stringently on Tumblr's porn and "thinspiration" sites. "Yes," said Steinem, but added quickly that Mayer's responsibility isn't just about her being a woman. "It's not about biology, it's about consciousness," she said. "If you are a civil rights person, you don't want to further racist literature, and if you are concerned about anti-Semitism, then you don't want to further that kind of literature either." But Mayer shouldn't feel compelled to do away with all of the sex stuff: "Porn and erotica aren't the same thing," Steinem clarified. "Porne means female slave, and it isn't about sex — it's about violence against women." Erotica, on the other hand, gets her stamp of approval.
To volunteer in their place, that is. "They're sending nannies for bake sales, book clubs, for the ice-skating group," a representative of Manhattan Private School Advisors griped to the New York Post. "Parents can't be bothered two days a year for an hour." At both Marymount and Buckley, the administrations have been forced to lay down the law when it comes to safety patrol, with a memo from the latter reminding: "Parents are the only acceptable option for patrol. Caregivers, housekeepers, etc. may NOT walk safety patrol." Annual tuition approaching the GDP of a small country doesn't go as far as it used to.
Republican nominees for the upcoming Virginia statewide elections appear committed to upholding the Commonwealth's tradition of invasive and unnecessary vaginal ultrasounds and arcane regulations designed to put abortion providers out of business. Mother Jones’s Kate Sheppard has the rundown.
The destruction in Moore, Oklahoma, following Monday evening's category 4 tornado is almost unfathomable. Although initial reports from the medical examiner put the death toll at 91, the official count is now at 24, with dozens more injured and entire neighborhoods decimated. Winds likely approached 200 mph, and the two-mile-wide tornado tore through 22 miles in about 40 minutes. Watching the storm touch down and howl does not make it easier to comprehend the scale of the disaster, but the footage is still flooring.
Even amid the death and grief yesterday's massive tornado left behind in Moore, Oklahoma, there were small moments of triumph and happiness. Barbara Garcia was talking with a CBS News reporter yesterday in front of the rubble of what used to be her home. As the cameras rolled, Garcia described surviving the storm but being unable to find her dog.
"I hollered for my little dog, and he didn't answer, or didn't come, so I know he's in here somewhere," Garcia said, and our hearts break because obviously this dog is dead. Like, super dead.
But, no, he's not dead, and we get to watch Garcia and what sounds like "Bassie" reunite on-camera. And it is absolutely beautiful, the pure joy this woman feels upon finding her dog. She's homeless, and all of her possessions have been destroyed. But she still has her Bassie.
SAC Capital billionaire, art-collecting Greenwichian, and stubbornly evasive law-enforcement target Steven A. Cohen has been under investigation for insider trading for five years. Five years! That's a long time. Theoretically, you could have been so distraught by the first news report that Cohen was being probed for dirty dealing that you conceived a stress baby, had it, and raised it. That child would be in pre-K now.
In fact, Cohen has been battling the law for so long that he's thinking of just giving up. According to Bloomberg, the hedge-fund impresario is "considering proposing a deal to prosecutors that would shut his $15 billion hedge-fund firm to outside investors." The deal, a deferred prosecution agreement, would require SAC Capital to admit wrongdoing but would shield the firm from charges, unless it breaks the law again.
But unlike Franco, she's unlikely to try her hand at soap opera acting or a "homo-sex-art-film." In addition to serving as an assistant vice provost at NYU, pursuing a doctorate degree from Oxford, and working as a special contributor to NBC News, the Post reports that Clinton has become co-founder and co-chair of NYU's Of Many Institute, a new program that aims to “develop multifaith dialogue and train multifaith leaders.” Clinton should be slightly less busy now that Rock Center has been cancelled, and apparently using that time to catch up on Real Housewives wasn't an option.
A New York Times article examining the increased use of Urban Dictionary in court lists a surprisingly wide range of legally pivotal slang words: "Jack," meaning to rob; "to nut," meaning to ejaculate; "hoe," meaning a prostitute. "In the last year alone, the Web site was used by courts to define iron ('handgun'); catfishing ('the phenomenon of Internet predators that fabricate online identities'); dap ('the knocking of fists together as a greeting, or form of respect'); and grenade ('the solitary ugly girl always found with a group of hotties')." Urban dictionary also defines justice as "a hot white boy, with abs!"
On Monday night, about a thousand people marched through the West Village to Sixth Avenue and West Eighth Street, where 32-year-old Mark Carson was shot dead over the weekend, supposedly because he was gay. Christine Quinn, as well as most other mayoral candidates, and Edie Windsor, the plaintiff in one of the gay-rights cases currently before the Supreme Court, joined in the rally protesting the recent uptick in anti-GLBT violence — though the family of suspect Elliot Morales claims the murder wasn't actually a hate crime.
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